Health care-related time costs in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Academic Article


  • Background: Burdens related to time spent receiving cancer care may be substantial for patients with incurable, life-limiting cancers such as metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Estimates of time spent on health care are needed to inform treatment-related decision-making. Methods: Estimates of time spent receiving cancer-related health care in the initial 3¬†months of treatment for patients with MBC were calculated using the following data sources: (a) direct observations from a time-in-motion quality improvement evaluation (process mapping); (b) cross-sectional patient surveys; and (c) administrative claims. Average ambulatory, inpatient, and total health care time were calculated for specific treatments which differed by antineoplastic type and administration method, including fulvestrant (injection, hormonal), letrozole (oral, hormonal), capecitabine (oral, chemotherapy), and paclitaxel (infusion, chemotherapy). Results: Average total time spent on health care ranged from 7% to 10% of all days included within the initial 3¬†months of treatment, depending on treatment. The greatest time contributions were time spent traveling for care and on inpatient services. Time with providers contributed modestly to total care time. Patients receiving infusion/injection treatments, compared with those receiving oral therapy, spent more time in ambulatory care. Health care time was higher for patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents compared to those receiving hormonal agents. Conclusion: Time spent traveling and receiving inpatient care represented a substantial burden to patients with MBC, with variation in time by treatment type and administration method.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rocque GB; Williams CP; Ingram SA; Azuero A; Mennemeyer ST; Young Pierce J; Nipp RD; Reeder-Hayes KE; Kenzik KM
  • Start Page

  • 8423
  • End Page

  • 8431
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 22